Have you heard or read about paperless office? It sounds very strange when you first hear it, but it’s an actual truth and essence of the 21st Century. Here is what paperless office is all about.
What is paperless office? How is it possible?
A paperless office is as simple as it sounds, an office with no or greatly reduced paper documents, folders. All documents are stored in digital environments such as hard disks or servers. You may think that it can only be used for new offices, but you can also convert your conventional offices to paperless offices.
There are many companies which offer services and tools you can use to convert your office to paperless. Some companies offer full service of scanning and storing of your documents and some others offer advanced applications which can greatly speed up the process of going paperless.
Services may include storage of your old hard-copy documents, scanning and processing of your documents in every standard size, storing and encrypting them in a secure online cloud server, organization of your folders.
If you want to have transformation done in your office by your employees or yourself, there are great softwares, online and offline apps that provide advanced OCR, PDF conversion, management, organization features to help you on your task.
Your scanned documents can also be securely be stored online using free apps like Dropbox or Google Drive. Access can securely be granted to employees who need to work with them anywhere.
The benefits of a paperless office
You probably can think of many benefits of it by yourself, but most of the time you miss out some of them. So here I list all of them for you:
1. Ease of Use
You won’t need to search for the documents you need physically, computers will find the document you search in a matter of seconds. And with good organization of folders, you don’t even have to search for them.
You can go a step further by keeping them online by using free online apps that make it easy to access your files and documents anywhere. Remember to back up your files regularly to avoid loss of important business documents and data.
You and your employees can reach and edit your documents from anywhere you want, anytime you want. This also gives your employees the chance to work outside the office, at home or on holiday (sometimes urgent tasks need to be done on holiday).
This opportunity is better for moods of your employees. And you can save office space thus money by having employees working from home.
3. Cut Some Costs
Conversion to paperless office can be a little expensive, but it will cut costs later. You will save storage space for the documents, and also your office will look better without many papers and folders around.
As I have written before, you can save more office space by having employees work from home, even in some cases you can have employees from other countries that has a lot lower salary.
You can cut shipping costs for invoices or faxing costs by sending them through e-mails. You can also send and receive faxes from internet and you will have higher quality and cheaper rates.
Of course, you will help protecting the environment by cutting usage of papers instead of cutting trees for the papers.
Are there any disadvantages of paperless offices?
I wish I could say no, but yes, there are. Costs involved in converting to paperless office can be a little expensive and your employees may need education on how to use the systems. If you use your own online servers, security might be a risk, too.
Change can be difficult but once you begin the process of running an almost paperless office, the long term benefits far outweigh the downsides.